An American Revolution Revolution
- Esther Jablotschkin
Shawn Huckins series ‘An American Revolution Revolution’ explores 18th century American painting and portraiture in context of 21st century lexicons – Facebook status updates, tweets, texting acronyms – that permeate today’s popular culture. Shawn explains: ‘The American Revolution was conceived through an exchange of a few well-formed ideas communicated in person and by handwritten letters. Imagine what George & Co. could have done with the Internet. Or not.’
He states that we live in a very different time than our Founding Fathers did, and we would appear to place our priorities in very different places: self entertainment versus what serves our society. Clearly a society must be politically free to indulge in the luxury of such introspection. But has the complacency of our political freedom blinded us to the potential our ancestors fought for? The conclusion is that advancing technology isolates us more, not less, we are not more ‘connected’. Nearly infinite information delivered instantaneously has so obsessed us with tweets, pokes, buzz words, and status updates that we feel deprived when we haven’t logged in to check out the latest postings or to see who ‘likes’ our status.
‘Who hasn’t panicked at the sight of no bars on their cell phone? We are enslaved to our smart devices, computers, and social networking sites as much, if not more, than by a distant king. ‘If George could comment today, would he click the ‘like’ button, or post wtf? and then go check his Lady Gaga tweet?’
All images © Shawn Huckins